So, your newly published website is up and running and you are thinking what comes next? Here is our website checklist once you are live. This is what we recommend and do. For those who have had a website for some time, this is a helpful checklist to make sure some important work is not omitted from your broader marketing plan.
1. Test everything again so that your user experience is full proof, specifically:
- Every link on every page. External links, internal ones, all of them
- Make sure that the viewport design works. Test your website on desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile devices. Specifically look at navigation, forms, and layout when on the smaller devices
- Make sure contact methods are working e.g. forms, live chat and chatbots
For those who want to go into the deep end on a pre and post go-live, this checklist by HubSpot is comprehensive.
2. Set fabulous expectations with your contact forms. Once a website user submits a contact form aim to acknowledge the submission and set expectations on what will happen next. In our experience, if a form submission feels like it went into a black hole, the user will be lost. Treat them like a present, wrap them up in something beautiful. Here is our process:
- Load a success page as immediate feedback for the user
- Send confirmation to the email address provided with a copy of what they submitted, sometimes something important is wrong or omitted
- Load the contact into your CRM, never trust people to remember, they are human.
3. Plan your lifecycle, especially the first client-facing interaction with you or your team. Make sure everyone in the organisation is familiar with the content of the website so that the conversation can follow naturally. In terms of taking inbound calls, have a plan to evaluate the opportunity. Don Lee via Better Marketing covers this topic in-depth, the questions below will enable you to deal effectively with your lead.
- How did you find out about us?
- What problem are you looking to solve?
- Are you talking with any of our competitors about this?
- When are you looking to make a decision?
4. Get links to your website, so that search engines can learn about you by name and hopefully by product or service. One of the best resources on the web at presenting why and what you should do is the definitive guide to link building by Backlinko. Time spent understanding this content and executing will reward you in the medium to long term. For a brief overview on the value of external websites linking to yours:
- A link to your website = ok
- A link to your website from another website containing your name, address and phone number = better
- A link to your website from another website containing content that is core to your value proposition = amazing
5. Place analytics on your website so over time you can look at the performance. Knowing how your website performs is important as it can provide valuable insight into the performance of your advertising. There are many excellent tools available. For those getting started, we recommend Google Analytics and Hotjar.
- Google Analytics is a great comprehensive tool that can show you where visitors come from and what they do on your website. The core feature is being able to set and monitor goals. A further added bonus is connecting goal achievement to Google Adwords (Google’s Ad platform) for more efficient ad spending.
- Hotjar is a visual way to see what users on your website are doing. The user recordings and heatmaps are very helpful when paired with Google Analytics and you are trying to figure out why the traffic is not converting. Simply stated it puts you into the users’ view of your website.
6. Start promotion. There are a ton of options available these days, however, if you have engaged the options above you’ll be able to manage leads as they come in and identify the advertising channels that are working for you. Success will be found in continuous improvement, from measuring your efforts against your desired outcomes. So how do you start? We’ve got some tips below:
- Create a persona of your ideal customer, what media would they normally consume, would your service or product fit in?
- Look at what your direct competitors are doing, it’s likely they wouldn’t do something consistently if it didn’t produce results
- Consider winning trust before asking for the sale. Asking for the sale is where 90% of most companies drive their advertising. It is an expensive space to try and occupy. Perhaps your best execution option might be winning trust before potential clients enter the research period. For example a mechanic might publish a list each year of the most affordable to maintain 5, 10 and 15 year old cars they work on. People looking to purchase an affordable car will likely need maintenance in the future.
Do you have any questions about our new website checklist? What would you add or remove? Let us know below in the comments.